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Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Edible Gardening with Children: Summer Playtime in the Garden


School’s out and there’s no better time to enlist your kids to grow fresh edibles. Many summer crops grow fast and yield bounty that children like to eat. Start your kids playing in the dirt early, and they’ll develop an appreciation for home-grown food and healthy habits for life. If you don’t have children, gather your neighbors’ kids instead. Or simply vow to rediscover your inner child by taking time to view your garden with wide-eyed wonder, kneeling down to breathe in the scents and to inspect your […]

It’s Time to Plant Bare-Root Deciduous Fruit Trees


Garden miracle or lesson in patience? Planting a bare-root, deciduous fruit tree is a little of both. The garden miracle: that what looks like a stick with a few scraggly roots will ultimately yield a delicious bounty. The patience: you have to care for that stick for three to five years before it completes its transformation into a leafy tree that begins to bear fruit. Now is the season for bare-root fruit trees. They’re dormant, so they don’t mind being stripped of soil, transported and planted before waking […]

My Newest Venture: My In the Garden Column Will Begin Running in Noozhawk


I’m happy to announce that I’ll now be contributing my In the Garden articles to Noozhawk, “the freshest news in Santa Barbara,” is an online-only news service that delivers essential local news and community information to readers in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Carpinteria, Summerland and the rest of Santa Barbara County. The beauty of an online “newspaper” is that it’s not limited to traditional deadlines, it’s always ready to post breaking news, you can easily retrieve any article day or night, and you never again have to […]

Onions & Garlic: Underground Magic


In the kitchen, onions and garlic are a magical combination. But for me, the real magic of the sweet and savory edibles is out in the garden, below ground, where the tasty orbs begin their lives in the dark. Plant your onions and garlic this fall, and they’ll begin their journey from the earth to your table by next spring or summer. That may seem an interminable amount of time. But neither crop requires much space. Winter gardens are often empty. These members of the allium family are […]

Growing Hops: Time for Beer


“Fresh from the vine” is not a phrase usually associated with home-brewed beer. But grow your own hops, and you can claim just that. In the garden, hops are fast-growing, perennial vines that can soar 20 feet tall in a flash. They’re also exceedingly deciduous, dying to the ground and vanishing each winter. But in late summer or early fall, their female, cone-shaped flowers grow plump with lupulin — yellow, pollen-like granules — that preserve and add aroma and flavor to beer. The lime-green cones look similar to […]

Waiting for Fall: Start Planning Now


Limbo. That’s the status of many Central Coast gardens during the first part of September. Other than harvesting the last sun-ripened summer vegetables, keeping pace with watering and pulling an occasional weed, there’s not much that demands our attention. Which makes this the perfect time to prepare for fall. Whether you’re anticipating a simple tune-up or wholesale renovation, you can start planning now. Consider the overall layout and flow of your garden first. Then focus your attention on plants. Hardscape Hardscape is just about everything that’s not a […]

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